The State of Connecticut Emergency Credentialing Program for Healthcare Professionals
The Connecticut Department of Public Health, working in collaboration with professional organizations and the state’s acute care hospitals, has implemented the State of Connecticut Emergency Credentialing Program for Healthcare Professionals, one of the first such programs in the United States. Administered on behalf of the Department of Public Health by the Yale New Haven Health Center of Excellence for Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response, the program’s goal is to recruit and pre-qualify healthcare practitioners who are willing to be contacted during a large-scale disaster or public health emergency to volunteer their time and their expertise.
The September 11th terrorist attacks, the devastation caused by record breaking storms during the 2005 hurricane season, and the threat of pandemic influenza have underscored the importance of having an emergency response plan that allows our hospitals and our public health systems to quickly mobilize the resources needed to ensure uninterrupted access to vital healthcare services. Pre-enrollment in the State of Connecticut Emergency Credentialing Program will provide volunteers with access to state-sponsored liability and workers compensation coverage, special emergency and disaster response training and the satisfaction of knowing that when called to service as volunteer enrolled in the program, their time will be used in the most efficient and effective way.
Healthcare professionals who choose to participate in the program are asked to enroll online at www.ct-esar-vhp.org by providing contact information and a complete self-assessment of clinical skills and competencies. The information provided will then be validated by the volunteer’s employer and added to a confidential and secure database that can be accessed only by authorized individuals who are responsible for implementing a local, statewide or regional healthcare system response to a large-scale disaster or public health emergency. Physicians, dentists, physician assistants, and advanced practice registered nurses who are on the medical staff at one of the acute care hospitals in the state should contact the Medical Staff Office at that hospital for program enrollment information.
We know that the first priorities for healthcare professionals during an emergency are to family and employer, so volunteers who enroll in the program always retain the right to refuse to respond to the call for assistance – at any time and for any reason - without jeopardizing their participation in the program. Because large-scale disasters can occur anywhere and without warning, the program’s goal is to have at least 1 out of every 10 healthcare professionals licensed in Connecticut enrolled in the program. Healthcare professionals who choose to enroll in the program and volunteer some of their time to assist during a large-scale disaster or public health emergency, are ensuring that family, friends and neighbors will have uninterrupted access to the vital healthcare resources they will need when they will need it the most!
Mary Grace Duley, MA, RN, CEN
Hospital Preparedness Coordinator
CT ESAR-VHP Coordinator
CT Department of Public Health
Office of Public Health Preparedness
410 Capitol Avenue. MS#12PHP
Hartford, CT 06134-0308
Phone: (860) 509-7152
Emergency Credentialing Program Coordinator
Yale New Haven Center of Excellence for Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response
One Church Street, 5th Floor
New Haven, CT 06510
Phone: (203) 688-3224